January 8

The cost of not asking.

“What do you want to give me for it?” the clerk, ready to close, asked.

“$10.00”

“It’s yours.”

I think I squealed, “Yippeee!” My mentee smiled. I wanted her to realize she had just been a witness to an extraordinary negotiation. Or at least a concept I often share. You have not, because you ask not, and I believe in asking.

The oblong, walnut colored coffee table was marked $25.00. It was interesting. If it were a house I’d say it had architectural detail. Two of the legs were missing a metal embellishment that accentuated the clawfoot design.

There was a shelf underneath that ran the length of the table, and a small drawer in the middle that could be opened from either side by pulling a tiny wood knob.

A two-inch piece of the rimmed top was missing, probably broken off when it was stacked in the back of someone’s storage shed or something. Things break when they are not properly cared for I’ve noticed. I was happy to take it home and care for it with patience, love and a few coats of paint.

We carried our fabulous find to the car and shoved the bag of donation clothes over to make room. It’s still in the back because I’ve vowed I can’t take it out or start another refinishing project until I’ve completely organized the garage.

Again.

The shelf in my bedroom got moved to the garage and there are now supplies scattered everywhere. As great as I can be about getting properly prepared for kids crafting events, my organizational putting-back skills are still lacking.

I just keep piling one thing on top of another.

Thrift store madness has turned me into a junk junkie. Reclaimed wood, reclaimed furniture, reclaimed clothes. Oh my gosh! I love finding fun things for next to nothing.

I really don’t want anyone else to know because I have my eye on three items, but there is a new boutique in Boerne called Daly Finds next to Kelani Yogurt. The clothes and jewelry, handbags and shoes are almost as amazing as the prices.

It’s practically free.

Right now, I’m reading, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I’m not typically a big romance reader and actually whispered my request to the librarian the way I’ve browsed the self-help section of Barnes and Noble, quietly, hiding behind the shelves in a large brimmed hat and sunglasses.

No, we don’t need help. We are fine. We are amazing.

Or maybe we’re not. Maybe we are missing important pieces, part of us knocked off, knocked around or feeling like thrift-store, throw-away furniture. Maybe, like my garage and all the projects I’ve been stacking, we are just in need of a good cleaning.

Repurposed and reclaimed.

I can’t put this borrowed from the library book down. It’s the kind of book that feels more like a balm. 2 am comes too early and I have to force myself to put it down and go to sleep. It’s not a romance as much as it is about the relentless pursuit of our hearts. And forgiveness. Lots and lots of forgiveness. 7 times 70 haunts me as I try to avoid the mending.

This morning I was reading Colossians 1: 10-14 about rescue. I thought of the joy it gives me to restore something I’ve found, but forgotten by others.

It must be like that for him.

The God who has such amazing love for us also has the power to remove us from darkened alley-ways and our personal dungeons. He picks us up, right where we are and transfers us to his kingdom.

It’s so much better than being taken back to my messy garage.

You have not because you ask not.

Those who seek me, find me.

It’s yours.

What I once thought was ridiculous, has restored me. And knowing that transformation is possible makes me all the more determined to see the beauty in the broken.